Thursday, April 22, 2021

Bless Tomorrow


Bless Tomorrow

by Charl Landsberg

Just for now, to catch your breath slowly;

I wish for you a better tomorrow morning.

An easy sunrise for you to dawn lazily,

from small dreams a peaceful awakening. 

A warm cup of coffee or tea;

before setting out to do your thing.


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Off with the Pigs

A fleeting bite, insulting slight, to justice,
love, and reason,
did little right when old men, so white, prefer,
the lure of treason. 
Were you there when Hero's prayer in death,
soothed Claudio's tantrum?
When three to a man did Caliban assault,
his slaver's sanctum?
You speak returns and big concerns for old ways,
imagined past.
But a verdict's deign doesn't raise the slain where ground
with blood is cast.
Justice is needed. Justice deserved.
Justice is more than this platitude served.
Justice is here. Justice is now.
The pigs need to be sent home to the sow.


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Aurora Redux

Whoo, that fairy gave everone a terrible fright.

Throwing curses born of hatred and spite.

That curse is gone, unsewn, a seed that will never find root,

I unknit her weave, and cast it to the wind, broken, moot.

But what of gifts, this is a celebration, yes?

So I give you a gift to uplift and bless.

The most simple of spells, a cantrip of light,

you can call upon when sad or in the dark of the night.

And I gift to you wisdom of heart of self and kin,

a compassion that sees to without and within,

a knowing love, a kind love, that doesn't lose sight,

of what's good in the world, what's true, what's right.

And the call is the third gift, a beckon to me,

that if you are in danger or sad or lonely,

say my name three times, give my ear a bend,

I'll be there as teacher, a confidant, friend.


Tuesday, March 30, 2021


Image Transcription:     Tonguetell   by Charl Landsberg    There is a candle of a lie that illuminates:  told by the mouth of the wicked man,  in sly attempt to shadow his crime,  that only survivors of said crime recognise;  instantly.    When you overhear that wicked man,  who speaks his little occulting spell,  and he knows by the flash in your eyes,  that he made such a crucial mistake -  and now two share his dirty little secret.

Image Transcription: 


by Charl Landsberg

There is a candle of a lie that illuminates:

told by the mouth of the wicked man,

in sly attempt to shadow his crime,

that only survivors of said crime recognise;


When you overhear that wicked man,

who speaks his little occulting spell,

and he knows by the flash in your eyes,

that he made such a crucial mistake -

and now two share his dirty little secret.


The Problem with Anger

Transcription of image. The problem with anger. By Charl Landsberg. Let the steam out bit by bit. Anger is like a pressure pot. It can do so many wonderful things. Cook food, cut steel, slay enemies, the lot. But seal it up and never let it out, boom! - Rain like red sleet. Friends and foes and strangers alike. Scattered about your naked feet.


transcription of image: the problem with anger by charl landsberg

let the steam out bit by bit
anger is like a pressure pot
it can do so many wonderful things
cook food, cut steel, slay enemies, the lot
but seal it up and never let it out
boom - rain like red sleet
friends and foes and strangers alike
scattered about your naked feet

Originally published 29 March 2021


Sunday, March 21, 2021

The Different Stories

Your friends and family speak of you in hushed tones.

You were such a good boy. Never did anything bad.

You were a model student and example to your peers.

That sort of shit.

I irritate them when I speak of you.

Because I knew you.

We met on Kwazulu Natal copper autumn leaves.

We met behind festival tents and market stalls.

We met behind the YMCA where we started fires and shot off crackers.

We met behind the Musica where we stole CDs and snorted cocaine.

You were such a good boy.

The terrible things we did.

And Sundays we would go to our respective churches,

And take the holy bread and wine…

only to receive forgiveness in each other’s arms later that night.

The subtle prayers that only lovers know.

I could shout it to the world.

The truth of you.

The beauty of you.

Not a small boy with auntie pinched red apple cheeks,

But a young man face flushed as he ran naked into a midnight Midmar Dam.

A young man who stuck his arms out sideways and twirled till he fell.

A young man who sang along to Alanis Morrissette very badly.

A young man stolen from us far too quickly.

They don’t remember you the way I do.

They remember you behaving.

I remember you smiling.


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Whoa Nelly!

(aka, the poem in which I lose my damn temper)

I am done with men fucking up after everything I say,
and going ahead with it anyway and then being so fucking surprised:
“I'm surprised! Are you surprised? I was so fucking surprised!”
Oh, you're his friend, are you?
No, I don't know where he went.
Maybe he's down at the store having spent,
his last silver dime on buying back the time he wasted;
or a balm for the consequences he wrought;
or a sense of responsibility; or... I dunno, some fucking shame.
Who knows? Maybe he's dead.
Is it my problem? Stop asking.
Is there something you'd rather have me do instead?
Like, sweety, I'd love to go headhunting with you,
but that boy's gotta make his bed some day.
So, I'm sorry, not my problem, he knew the rules, he knew the cost.
He came in guns blazing; to hell with the consequences,
and got his ass knocked two feet sideways from Tuesday.
Not my circus. Not my monkeys.
If you're through, are we done please?
I'm not particularly busy today, but this is not what I had planned,
but if you're laying claim to that trash,
I can offer you a broom and the door.


Thursday, October 15, 2020

Approaching Beltane

So bring a tiny pitcher,
fill it up with milk.
Come set it on the grass,
and wrap it up with silk.
Boil an urn of water.
Sprinkle in some tea.
Pour yourself a cup,
and sit here next to me.
Bring your pewter whistle,
and I'll bring my guitar.
You sing songs for the moon,
and I'll sing songs for a star.
Then wrap ourselves in blankets,
with a fire made of sticks.
I wake up in your arms.
We leave at half past six.


Saturday, September 26, 2020

I cannot wait to die

CW: little bit suicidal

I cannot wait to die,

to be so insubstantial as to have never existed.

I would never be fat again, hated for my body,

I would be so thin you'd never see me.

I would never be transgender again,

an inconvenient patch of grass,

that you can pave over with whatever story you like.

You can call me 'he' and 'him' till the cows come home,

and I will not be there to take it anymore.

To be the skinny man I never was in your imagination.

To be the stranger I never was living in your disappointment.

I cannot wait to die,

so everyone else could experience that absence of being,

as I lived a ghost in my own life,

as if I had this invisible twin brother everyone spoke to,

instead of me.

Maybe when I die I'll meet him, finally, and kill him too.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Love: A Dictionary Definition

 Love is a noun and a verb

Love is the tongue and the fist

Love is the threat and the delivery

Love is tragic and heartbreaking

Love is the cruelty of cis men

Love is being disappointed with cis men

Love is the unexpected wonder of cis men

Love is transformative

Love is being reminded that history is a circle

Love is being reminded that this doesn’t last

Love is loss and doing it again for the hell of it

Love is beautiful

Love is loneliness in the following years

Love is memory and far too many hours

Love is seeing your face in dream

Love is never being alone


Wednesday, September 09, 2020

13 Love Poems by Charl Landsberg (a copy of my book)

 As always Amazon sucks and my book isn't going to be promoted in any way shape or form... so here's a free copy. Fuck, share it with whomever you like.


Sunday, August 23, 2020

From a tired atheist...

Look, child, I am not shopping, so stop selling.

No, I don't want a taste of your god.

Yes, I have met god. I've met a few men's gods.

And I've been somewhat, unimpressed.

Men tack gods onto their back pockets,

like collector cards "Look, mine's best! Mine's best!"

But the best gods I've ever met

were the quiet ones who sat on kind tongues

behind contemplative eyes, in compassionate ears,

not interested in saving me, or fixing me,

or damning me, or wanting me dead.

The best gods are teachers, not tyrants.

The best gods are roads, not graves.

You want a god, that's a fine place to be.

If that gives your life meaning and direction, 

that is a good thing and I won't have you any different.

But your god wants to stick his cock in my business;

then I have a problem with both you and your god.

And we know from history the surest way to end gods,

is to end their cultists.


Sunday, August 09, 2020

First and Last Rites

You were my first, you know,
but I wasn't good enough.
You went out looking for yourself:
travelled the world, came back,
said how much you hated me...
because I have changed?
How clever you are:
gone digging in other folks' gardens,
just to find my grave.
Sorry I don't have a body or
something for you to bury.
But you've gotten so clever,
finding things that don't belong to you.
Religions. Cultures.
Other men's husbands.
Maybe if you go away,
you can find something,
to put in that grave you found,
or up your ass.


Saturday, August 08, 2020


by Charl Landsberg

Jack prefixes his opinions,
about my body, 
to be tattooed into my flesh with,
"You shouldn't..." and "you must..."
I suffixed his teeth with a brick.
If you want to write a thesis,
bring your own damn ink.
My skin isn't a public canvas.
Shit out your opus elsewhere.


Sunday, July 12, 2020

The Heart of all Things

The Heart of all Things
by Charl Landsberg

There are two kinds of people,
who speak of the deep places:
those who speak in fear and ignorance,
and those you invite you in.
Would you take my hand?
I will show you where the roads come from.
I will show you where the rivers end.
I will show you the heart of all things.
You will call me Blessed Azrael,
and I will call you my friend.


Wednesday, July 08, 2020


And how is it that you unstitch me so,
with one kiss, my every front unseated?
As glamours break you watch them go,
while I sit here, helplessly defeated.
Your soft smile serving a gentle glow,
asking if your spell might be repeated.


Monday, July 06, 2020


mango by charl landsberg

when you use magic to wage battle,
all thats left of you by nightfall,
is the inedible stone of reason,
and the raw flayed skin of sadness.
all goodness sacrificed,
to distant gods of war.
all I'm good for is planting,
and a hope that i grow.


Sunday, July 05, 2020


Living with the fallout,
is the hardest part of making the right decision.
I'm not happy here;
but I'll be damned rather than go back.
For all my fault and mistakes I am content;
let the carrion birds have the rest.
We will endure no fire that is not our own.
We will endure no scorn that we are not due.

by Charl Landsberg


Wednesday, July 01, 2020


transphobes love demanding access
to trans bodies
playing haruspex with our corpses
telling of our imaged sins
crimes we might commit
if we are allowed to survive

Monday, June 29, 2020


when the person you miss is dead
it's like your heart writing letters to santa claus
you know that nobody is going to get that letter
but your heart has the hope of a toddler
so she writes in broad crayon strokes
on printer paper, in an unmarked envelope
and sent to where those who know better
keep such things